Thirty-One Years Old

This time last year I was still in Hong Kong, hiking the city streets and visiting temples. Meeting relatives that I have long forgotten from my childhood, from my time living in Australia.

Man Mo Temple

I look at this photo of me and mother and I want to ask, “Who was that boy then?” I still have this need to see myself as a child. Maybe it excuses certain things that I expected to have by the time I was thirty. I was supposed to be married and living in a house now. First child on the way or already here.

I don’t need those things right now, I don’t ache for them. But I expected them. I feel entitled to them. I feel everyone else expects them.

But I’m actually great. 2015 is the year I started coloring my hair. Which doesn’t mean anything and also means everything. Whatever it’s just hair. But it’s grown more personal to me over time. It stands as a symbol for the part of me that I want to show off. It represents the change that’s happened to me in my transition to my thirties and it serves as inspiration to come out of my shell more.

I’m afraid to hope for anything in 2016. Outwardly, I want that steady relationship and I want safety and I want the good stuff to stay the same (and the bad stuff to stay silent). Inwardly, I probably yearn for a lot of things I didn’t know I wanted or I’m too afraid to even think aloud. I want exercise. I want to feel healthy and vital. I want this year to feel better than all the others before it, with no qualifying language. I want a change at work and be surrounded with coworkers that I love and work that I’m fired up about. I want to be terrified to give my heart to someone. I want an apology from my dad. I want to wake up somewhere else and cry about how far I’ve come.

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